Family * Travel * Food

Vegan Cinnamon Sugar Muffins Recipe

Looking for a healthier option for breakfast or snacks? We have hit back-to-school season, and many of us are time-crunched. Having grab-and-go items is a must for those busy mornings, as well as after school lets out. I've always liked having a variety of snacks available ranging from fruit, cheese, crackers, and baked goods. You definitely have to try out this recipe for vegan cinnamon sugar muffins. I promise you won't know they are vegan! 

For the muffins:

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 spelt flour (or you can use what you have)
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 ounces applesauce (unsweetened)
1/2 cup organic almond milk
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup

For the topping:
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 390 (F). Grease or line muffin tray and set aside.

In a large bowl stir together all dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together applesauce, almond milk, oil, and maple syrup. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring until combined.

Fill the muffin cups 2/3 of the way full, sprinkle each with a little cinnamon sugar, and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Each family member tried a muffin and the reaction was all the same. They all said it tasted like any regular homemade muffin and they would never have guessed it was vegan. The dozen I made seemed to have disappeared in one day. I was lucky to get one! They had the same texture and flavor of a regular muffin using dairy or egg. This recipe is a keeper!

Check out these other recipes:
Best Banana Bread
Blueberry Lemon Bread
Glazed Meyer Lemon Pound Cake
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Breakfast Idea: Blueberry Lemon Bread

Every day is a struggle when it comes to finding new meal ideas. Breakfast is usually a challenge for the working adults in my household since no one is trying to get up early time is valuable. Having easy, grab-and-go options work well. We all prefer something that is homemade over prepackaged, of course. I purchased some blueberries for snacking the other day, and sadly they were too soft to enjoy. Just like when you have over-ripe bananas, you simply must make banana bread. This time around, I made a scrumptious blueberry lemon bread. You probably have most of the ingredients on hand already, so this one is a winner. 


1 cup fresh blueberries
2 tsp all-purpose flour
1/3 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar (you can use less if you prefer less sweetness)
2 large eggs
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract (optional)
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder


Heat oven to 350° and grease loaf pan or use parchment paper if you prefer minimal clean up.

Lightly toss blueberries with 2 tsp flour to coat (set aside).

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition. Mix in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and extract. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.

Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternately with the milk. Fold in the blueberries. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes. You can test with a toothpick to know if it is baked through. Cool and slice. This bread is best enjoyed when it is cooled down all the way.

Check out these other recipes: 

4 Ingredient Greek Pasta Salad
Shelly's Easy & Moist Meatloaf

Thanks for stopping by today!
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5 Great Activities To Do Indoors When It's Raining

In good weather, when it is dry outside, there is nothing better than the great outdoors to keep us all entertained. A picnic on the beach, a ballgame in the park or a stroll by the river, it’s easy to fill the days with fun and enjoyment. But what if it’s raining and wet? What do we do then?

Parents with young children on school holidays are especially challenged on rainy days. Without giving them free reign to watch TV all day, playing electronic games or worse, being endlessly on their smartphone, it does need some creative thinking to keep them busy and happy indoors without spending a small fortune. Here then are some suggestions.

5 Great Activities to do Indoors when it’s Raining: 

1. Cooking / Baking 

Christmas is near and it’s time to think about making or baking some festive food to eat at home over the holiday season and as gifts for friends and family. Enlist the help of your kids to make sumptuous chocolate truffles and wrap them prettily in bags with ribbons. Make a panforte as an extra to the traditional Christmas cake or get down to some pickling and preserving of the season's produce. In pretty packages or decorated jam jars, these gifts are usually much appreciated but they do take time and effort, so a rainy day indoors is perfect for getting down to it.
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2. Learning a New Skill Together

We come back to the festive season theme of making gifts instead of buying them. Perhaps this is the year when you and the family learn jewelry making, wood carving, screen painting, pottery, embroidery, etc. If YouTube doesn’t give you enough instructions, there may be workshops locally that would interest. For example, the Artsy Hive in Miami have walk-in pottery painting sessions. Anhinga Clay Studio in Miami offer winter camp days for children who want to be creative with their hands.

3. Dancing

There is no better way to break a sweat and it costs next to nothing. All you need is music. If you’ve never learned to salsa, now is the time. It’s raining outside so shift the furniture round and clear some floor space. Again YouTube can come in useful. Salsa, cha-cha-cha, foxtrot, get the kids to show you some hip-hop, teach them to jive!

4. Yoga

We’re sticking to exercise here. It’s slower than dancing but equally challenging, good fun and will burn up some energy. Plus, this will make you and the family feel so good afterwards! There are lots of beginners to advanced yoga classes accessible online these days, so if you don’t want to take a trip to your nearest yoga studio try a class together at home.

5. Museums

When you’ve had enough of staying at home, there are always museums to go to on a rainy day. Yes, this can be an expensive trip especially if there are a few of you but there are still museums that will offer free admissions.
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Some examples in Miami are the:

Institute of Contemporary Art - admission is always free with guided tours at 2.00pm.
HistoryMiami Museum - free all day every 2nd Saturday of the month.
Miami Children’s Museum - free admission on the 3rd Friday of the month.
Historic Homestead Town Hall Museum - admission is always free.

Don't let the rain put a damper on things. Enjoy the day indoors!

About the Author

Emily Dick is a mom of one, a young girl named Daisy. She is the inspiration behind Emily’s new venture into the world of writing – parenting website whooopsAdaisy. Here, she writes about a range of topics and reviews some of the best toys, games and gifts for children of all ages, from babies to school-aged children.
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All About Butter

If you are going to be cooking and baking this holidays season using real butter, you should take a look at this helpful infographic. You can also read more here regarding butter grades and standards. 

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The Best Banana Bread Recipe

A few days ago, I shared a photo of a banana bread I baked on Instagram. I almost always get the comment, "Recipe, please!". I figured I need to start adding more recipes on the blog. I actually found this banana bread recipe years ago, and have tweaked it slightly to my taste. It's so good because you don't need a mixer, and it can all be done in one bowl. Less cleaning is always a good thing! 

2 to 3 very ripe, large bananas
1/3 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar (adjust to your taste)
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
chopped walnuts (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a regular sized loaf pan either by buttering, using cooking spray, or lining with parchment. Mash bananas and add all wet ingredients, followed by dry. Mix until fully combined and spoon into pan. If you are using walnuts, add them to the top of the batter. Bake for 45-60 minutes. Insert a wooden toothpick in center to test if it's baked all the way. Toothpick should come out clean. Fifty minutes usually does it for me.

Helpful Tips:

I like lining my loaf pan with parchment because you don't have to worry about sticking, and there is almost no cleanup. I also prefer adding nuts on top instead of mixed in for better crunch, and texture. They get nice and toasty from baking.

This banana bread is a winner and my family loves it. Next time you have some overripe bananas hanging around, you should try this recipe. Enjoy! 

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Stevia In The Raw Can Help Lighten Up Your Holiday Desserts

The product, information, and gift card have been provided by the makers of In The Raw® so that I could try the product and share my thoughts and information about Stevia In The Raw® Bakers Bag. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect the opinions of the makers of In The Raw® sweeteners.

The holiday season means the time of year where many of us over-indulge in sweets and treats. Although we have made some significant dietary changes in my household, it won't stop us from the occasional dessert item. This year we are trying something new by adding some Stevia In The Raw for sweetening. Stevia In The Raw is a zero-calorie sweetener and contains an extract from the sweet leaves of the stevia plant.

I'm sure you are thinking that I am talking about those itty bitty packets. Nope, Stevia In The Raw also comes in a bakers bag which means measuring the correct amount is easy. Also, it is formulated so that 1 cup has the same sweetness as 1 cup of sugar. When using Stevia In The Raw Bakers Bag for baking recipes, it is recommended that the user replace about half of the sugar in order to achieve the proper browning, rising and caramelizing that only sugar can provide. Would you believe that up to 700 calories are saved for every cup of sugar that is replaced with Stevia In The Raw Bakers Bag?

Since this is the baking season, I'd like to share some festive recipes with you.

Chocolate Peppermint Truffle Tart

Cookie Crust
9 ounces chocolate wafer cookies
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon Sugar In The Raw®
1 tablespoon Stevia In The Raw®

Chocolate--Peppermint Filling
12 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup Sugar In The Raw®
3/4 cup Stevia In The Raw®
1 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

Whipped Cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons Sugar In The Raw®
1 teaspoons Stevia In The Raw®

Preheat oven to 350℉. Lightly grease a 9” round springform pan with removable bottom and sides. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse chocolate cookies until fine. Transfer to a bowl and stir in melted butter, Sugar In The Raw and Stevia In The Raw until well combined. Press mixture into bottom and up the sides of pan. Bake crust until firm - about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

In a medium bowl, add chocolate and butter. In a small saucepan bring cream, Sugar In The Raw, and Stevia In The Raw to a boil whisking constantly until Sugar In The Raw and Stevia In The Raw are completely dissolved. Pour cream over the chocolate and butter and whisk until chocolate has melted. Stir in peppermint and pour into crust. Chill at least one hour.

In a large bowl beat cream, Sugar In The Raw, and Stevia In The Raw on high speed until stiff peaks form - about 1 minute. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve tart.

Slice tart and top with whipped cream and dust with cocoa powder.

You also must check out the recipes for Chocolate-Espresso Pizzelles and Gingerbread Butterscotch Trifles for a festive addition to your holiday dessert table.

You can find out more about Stevia In The Raw, and other In The Raw products on their website. We are big fans of the Agave In The Raw. It has replaced sugar in our coffee and tea, with no difference in taste. Also, be sure to grab some valuable money-saving coupons here.

Giveaway: The makers of Stevia In The Raw® are providing a Bakers Bag product sample and a $25 online Visa gift card to one lucky Mom Files reader to win. Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only and ends on December 17, 2017. Must follow rules in Rafflecopter. One winner will be chosen randomly. Mom Files is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!
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Holiday Season Prep And Saving Money On Gifts

This is a sponsored post in partnership with All opinions are my own. 

It's so crazy to think that in a couple months, the holiday season will begin. We have a tradition every year where we go and hang out on Halloween with close family-friends and we call it our 'kick-off to the holidays'. After that it seems like we all get into go-mode and the holiday hustle and bustle gets real. There is usually so much going on for all families with school events, football season, and family gatherings.

I find myself cooking and baking a whole lot once the weather gets cooler. There is something about that autumn air that gets me in the mood to be in the kitchen even more. Last year I bought an electric pressure cooker from Amazon and it has been my go-to appliance. I have been strongly considering getting a second one since I cook multiple foods for one meal most times. This would be extremely helpful during the holiday entertaining season as well since I can only cook so many dishes at one time on a four-burner stove. I am pretty sure I will be hosting Thanksgiving, so I will have to throw around a little *hint, hint* to my husband to get me another one of these beauties. 😍
I am so happy that I have Amazon Prime so I don't worry about paying for shipping. If you don't have it, be sure to take advantage of this free 30-day trial of Prime. Aside from cooking and baking during the holidays, I stock up on off-season goods. It's amazing how much marked-down merchandise is available in stores, especially one of my favorite places, Kohl's. I love using their shopping passes and getting Kohl's cash throughout the year. I get a thrill out of buying $800 worth of merchandise for as little as $200 and sometimes, even less! Also if you don't feel like weeding through the clearance racks, you can shop online and even get free shipping. This has become my new favorite way to shop! 

The great part about clearance shopping is that some of the items can be given as gifts for the holidays. I am always down for saving money and spending as little as I can for gifts. I also like giving home baked goodies to friends and neighbors each year. They always look forward to what I send over every year. You can say that it has become a tradition! I am already looking at decorative mini loaf pans for some sort of pound cake. I know it seems so early to be thinking about all of this, but it's best to prepare early so you can fit some relaxation time in. After all, you don't want to miss out on quality time with your family and friends because you are making the mad dash at the last minute. Speaking of dash, be sure to stop by for savings from tons of well-known retailers like K-Mart, Best Buy, Michaels and more. You can find pretty much any brand you are looking for and they have the coupons savings already set up for you.

Do you get ready for the holidays early? Do you have any good shopping techniques that are helpful? Please share below in the comments. Thanks for stopping by today.
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The Best Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Today I woke up thinking about baking something. I haven't baked any treats in almost a month and thought I would surprise my family with some cupcakes. My hubby is a big fan of yellow cake with chocolate frosting so I went with that. I usually make a chocolate buttercream frosting that we all love, but I really wanted cream cheese frosting. I make plain cream cheese frosting most of the time, but what about a chocolate cream cheese frosting? I searched recipes online and couldn't believe how many variations I found. I looked at about ten recipes and my head started spinning. I closed up my laptop and decided to try making it based off of how I make plain cream cheese frosting. The end result was a rich, creamy, slightly tart and sweet chocolately explosion!

Instead of using salted butter like I usually do, I use unsalted. I also added some pure almond extract as well as pure vanilla. I think the hint of almond flavor really makes it extra special. See the complete recipe below.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8 ounce pack of cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 confectioners sugar
1/2 cup minus 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 tbsp cold whole milk or cream

Cream butter and cream cheese together in large mixer bowl. Blend in almond and vanilla extract. Slowly add confectioners sugar and cocoa. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the consistency desired. You can spread it on cakes or cupcakes or pipe it like I did. It's so easy and is better than anything store bought.

Enjoy and please let me know if you try this recipe. Thanks for reading!

Easy Recipe-- Mini Cheesecakes

If you love cheesecake, are pressed for time or feel like you are a baking-dummy, this recipe is for you. It requires so few ingredients and bakes up in just 20 minutes. 
2 8-ounce packs of cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla or almond extract
12 vanilla wafers
Fresh fruit or topping of your choice

To make:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with 12 paper cups and place one vanilla wafer in the bottom of each cup. Blend cream cheese with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until mixed. Add eggs, one at a time until well incorporated and then vanilla extract. Fill each cup with cheesecake mixture. Bake for 20 minutes and let sit out on a cooling rack in the muffin pan for about 20-30 minutes. Transfer pans in to refrigerator and chill for a minimum of 2 hours. Overnight is best.
These mini cheesecakes are delicious with fresh berries and are great for portion control. You can double the recipe for parties.  It's so easy and absolutely delicious.  I have been making them for 20 years now! It's a family favorite. Let me know if you try this recipe. Enjoy :) 

SPARQ Home Soapstone 16" Pizza Stone Review

I received a Soapstone 16" Pizza Stone from SPARQ Home for review. I have always wanted a pizza stone and couldn't wait to try this one out. I was so impressed with the way the pizza stone was packaged. It was wrapped with such care and detail that would ensure your stone would not be broken upon delivery to your home. 
The actual pizza stone is beautiful! I was wondering how on earth you are supposed to bake on it since it resembles something you can serve on. I decided to bake a frozen pizza last night. I preheated my oven and let the stone preheat for about 5 minutes before putting the pizza on it. The stone is very dense and heavy so it gets very hot. I was afraid that it would get too hot and burn the pizza crust underneath. I was pleased that it did not end up burning and my pizza had the most amazing crunch. Sometimes when I bake frozen pizza, the crust will brown too fast and the inner part of the bread will not bake enough. My pizza stone baked the pizza to perfection! It tasted like we got it from an authentic pizza restaurant. My family loved the texture of the pizza crust. I don't think I can ever eat frozen or homemade pizza unless it's baked on my Soapstone.  It was really easy to clean and because of how heavy it is, I will store it inside my oven.

Look at how gorgeous that crust is! Isn't the pizza stone so pretty too? 

Some details of the SPARQ Home Soapstone Pizza Stone: 

This Soapstone 16" Pizza Stone allows you to cook like a pro. Handcrafted from one solid block of soapstone, this durable pizza stone does wonders in baking with its even heat distribution.

The 16" is great for entertainers to host pizza night or can function as a cheese board to pass around the room. These stones are stain-proof, naturally non-stick, and can be used on the grill or in the oven to prepare that perfectly crisp, never burnt pizza you've been craving. All sizes are also available with a marble trivet, making these serving pieces oven-to-table.

Our 16" stone is handmade by SPARQ in Colorado by the guys who know soapstone and understand its amazing qualities. Plus, our pizza stones are eco-friendly because they are handmade with soapstone from factory excess.

The Pizza Stones come in 10, 12 and 16 inch sizes and can be purchased with a serving trivet. The 16" is such a good size and retails for $69.95. Once you use this stone, you will ditch your old pizza baking methods. I think I will try to bake cookies on it next. Any of these stones would make a great homewarming gift, hostess gift, wedding gift or even Mother's/Father's Day gift.

To find out more about SPARQ Home products, visit them online and connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.

I received a product sample for review purposes. As always, all opinions are my own.


My favorite tip when baking brownies

My family loves when I bake brownies and can't ever seem to wait for them to cool down before hacking into the pan! This usually leads to uneven pieces, lots of crumbs and a big mess. For many years I have baked my brownies (both homemade and from a box mix) in muffin pans. I just spray the pans lightly with non-stick spray and bake them for about 10 minutes less than I would in a traditional pan. The pop out of the pan easily and you have those perfect chewy edges all the way around!

I like to make these to stash in lunchboxes and they are great for taking to banquets, potluck gatherings or bakes sales. I have even topped them with a mini swirl of homemade cream cheese frosting and stuck a few M&M's in my daughter's school colors right in the center. They are always a big hit!


My latest Pinterest success | Two-toned frosted cupcakes

Yesterday evening, we had a graduation party for our oldest daughter. I gave her the option of ordering a cake but she wanted my homemade cupcakes. She requested hot pink and white "zebra stripes" for the frosting to match with her hot pink, black and white theme. I already ruled out the fact that I can make the icing turn out to look anything like zebra stripes, but I knew somehow I could pull off dual colored swirls. I remember seeing an idea on Pinterest about a year ago so I figured I would give it a shot.

I started off with baking the cupcakes (I did a boxed white cake to make life easier) and then mixed up my homemade cream cheese frosting. I scooped out half of the frosting in a separate bowl and tinted it with pink food coloring until I got the right shade I was looking for.

Next, I added the plain frosting in a piping bag and the hot pink in another piping bag. I then snipped the tips off both piping bags and put both bags carefully into one more empty piping bag that had a large star tip in it. I gently squeezed some frosting out until I saw both colors come out. 
I was so pleased with the results and it was worth using 3 piping bags to make it happen. I found some cute graduation themed cupcake liners and picks made by Wilton and here is the final product. 
My daughter and her guests all loved how cute the cupcakes came out!  
Shelly, Mom Files

Decadent Glazed Meyer Lemon Pound Cake Recipe

I had a sudden craving last week for a lemony treat. I thought about cookies, cupcakes, drinks and ended up deciding on pound cake. I searched recipes online and came across one by Martha Stewart. I used her recipe as a guide, but I tweaked it a bit. Instead of using standard lemons, I used organic Meyer lemons. I also used whole buttermilk instead of low-fat. I can't make a cake without pure vanilla extract, so I added some to mine. She used unsalted butter, I used salted. I also added some extra zest and vanilla extract to the glaze. The end result was moist, rich, melt-in-your-mouth, lemony goodness. The whole family loved it and I plan to make it again in the near future. I might make them as end-of-the-year gifts for the girls' teachers.

I shared the photos of my yummy cakes on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and received a lot of requests to share the recipe. Check it out below:
What you need:

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened, plus more for pan
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
3/4 cup whole buttermilk
Zest of 3 Meyer lemons
1/3 cup fresh, organic Meyer lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs

For the Lemon Glaze you will need:
2 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
4-5 tablespoons of Meyer lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest

How to make it: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lower position. Butter and flour two standard size loaf pans or one tube pan.

Zest your lemons before you juice them. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk with Meyer lemon zest and juice. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three parts alternately with the buttermilk mixture in two, beginning and ending with flour; beat just until smooth (do not over mix). The batter will be very fluffy and thick.

Divide batter evenly between pans and smooth tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool 15 minutes in pan. Turn out cakes onto a rack; cool completely before glazing.

While cakes are cooling, mix all of the glaze ingredients together. You can start with 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and add more as needed. You don't want your glaze super thin, just runny enough to *glaze* the cakes.
Set rack with cakes over a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Pour glaze over cakes, letting it run down the sides; let dry, about 30 minutes.

The glaze hardens up and the added zest gives it a stronger lemon flavor. I promise you that both loaves won't last long! Let me know if you try this recipe.
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The newest additions that make me love homemakin' even more

Last week, I witnessed something horrific that I hope I never have to go through again. I watched the top heating element in my oven burn and spark from one end to the other. I was devastated. I use my oven almost daily... sometimes even up to 3 times a day. What was I going to do? I have nagged expressed to my husband over the last 3-4 years how much I would love to upgrade my range and have a convection oven. We made plans to do this next year but I had to do something soon. I searched online and looked at dozen of ranges from different stores. I already knew that the option of convection would more than likely not be in my price range. I was so surprised when I found one that was affordable . I went with a Frigidaire Speed-Bake range from Lowe's. I would have loved the smooth top but since I cook in cast iron pots and pans a few times a week, I knew it wouldn't be a good choice. I had to stick with the old school electric coils. I am SO happy with my purchase and since Sunday, I have baked different things a total of 8 times. Hey, I need to get my practice with the convection feature!
I am loving the gorgeous color I have been getting on my sweet baked goods and the less baking time as well. I just roasted a whole chicken today and it was perfectly brown and crust on the outside and moist and juicy on the inside.

Another item I got this week is the Silpain baking mat. I reviewed the Silpat late last year and was excited to see what the Silpain was like. Silpain is different from Silpat because the surface is like a fine mesh that is made specifically for baking doughs and breads. 

I made my Cheese Spinach & Artichoke Crescents on the Silpain and I could see the difference with how nice and crusty the crescents came out.
Of course, there was no sticking so I was very pleased with the results. I am already making a long list of things I want to bake in the very near future. I better make sure to incorporate some low-fat and healthy items with the desserts and pastry ideas I have in my head :)

I just had to share my newest kitchen toys. If you own a convection oven and have any tips you can share, I would greatly appreciate it!
Shelly, Mom Files

Have you tried the new Cool Whip Frosting yet? #coolwhip

Did you know that Cool Whip now makes frosting? I was thrilled when I first heard about it on the Facebook page and couldn't wait to try it! Lucky for me, my friends from Kraft Foods sent some in all three flavors-- Chocolate, Vanilla and Cream Cheese.
So far, we have tried the cream cheese variety on triple chocolate cupcakes, with sprinkles. We all loved it! It had a nice cream cheese flavor and had that amazing "whipped" texture you can only get from Cool Whip. 
Next up, vanilla on red velvet cupcakes. I know you are thinking, "why didn't you use the cream cheese on the red velvet and the vanilla on the chocolate?" Eh, I figured why not! We all preferred the vanilla flavor over the cream cheese and have yet to try the chocolate. I anticipate that will be very soon since there are two teenage girls that reside in our home bugging me half to death requesting we try it asap!
I am thinking about making a white cake with the chocolate variety and possibly a carrot cake for the cream cheese flavor. If you love Cool Whip, you will really love the new frosting! It is so easy to use and it is delicious!

Have you tried the new Cool Whip Frosting yet?
Shelly, Mom Files

Classic Cheesecake Recipe and Food Lion's Holiday Bake-Off Recipe Contest

It's my favorite time of year. The holiday baking season is here! Every year I bake my favorite cheesecake that the family loves. I found this recipe online many years ago and I promise, it is fool-proof. I have shared this recipe with a lot of family members and friends and they all love it and found that it was very easy to make. The thing I love about this recipe is you can totally make it your own. You could add cocoa powder to part of the cheesecake batter to swirl it in and make it fancy. Instead of vanilla extract you could use almond or lemon. You can serve it with fruit or plain (just the way I like it!).
Classic Cheesecake
2 packages (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened*
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 Keebler® Ready Crust® Graham 2 Extra Servings Pie Crust (you can use a store brand or make your own)
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1. In large mixing bowl beat cream cheese on medium speed of electric mixer until fluffy. Add 2/3 cup sugar, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition. 2. Place crust on baking sheet. Spread cream cheese mixture in crust. Bake on baking sheet at 350°F about 30 minutes or until center is almost set. 3. In small bowl combine sour cream, 3 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Carefully spread over cheesecake. Bake at 350°F for 5 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate at least 3 hours. 4. Garnish as desired. Store in refrigerator. *NOTE: Soften cream cheese in microwave at high for 15 to 20 seconds.

Right now, Food Lion is hosting a Holiday Bake-Off recipe contest on their Facebook page. You can enter the contest by sharing a recipe in any of the four categories: appetizer, entree  side dish or dessert. 12 grand prize winners will receive a $500 Food Lion gift card. The Food Lion Bake-Off contest kicks off 11/7 and will end 11/28. Hurry up and enter! You never know, your recipe can be a $500 winner!

What is your favorite recipe that you make for Thanksgiving?

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Food Lion. I received a promotional item to facilitate my shopping experience and review.
Shelly, Mom Files
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